Tag Archives: garage door care

Ready Your Garage Door for the Winter

garage-door-winter-First United Door 2The garage door is the main access point to the home for more than 70 percent of homeowners, and as the Winter weather approaches, it’s important for homeowners to ensure the operation and safety of your household’s main point of entry. First United Door provides some helpful tips to ensure your garage doors are ready for Winter.

Weather Stripping

Check the weather stripping around the garage door to ensure it is keeping out the cold air, and replace any damaged or missing seals.Clean the weather stripping with a good all-purpose cleaner. Lubricate it every 2 or 3 months with a SILICONE-based lubricant. Never use a petroleum-based lubricant on weather stripping as it will dry up and crack. Don’t forget the weather strip between your door panels. It is important to let your weather strip hang 1/2″ below the door base when you readjust your perimeter weather stripping. If the weather stripping is too tight, the door will not function properly. So if your weather stripping has lost its flexibility, it is best to replace it.

Maintaining the Hardware

Older garage doors can malfunction in the cold weather, so garage door maintenance and inspections are even more important during the Winter months. Metal parts of a garage door can contract during cold weather, which can lead to broken springs and other issues.

Homeowners should use a garage door lubricant on any moving parts. Lubricate the rollers, tracks and hinges and all moving hardware parts with a little motor oil (e.g.: 10W30) every three months. Wipe off excess oil with a cloth. As for the springs, use the same oil applied with a cloth. You are not only prolonging the spring’s life, but also reducing the noise the springs make when the door is operated.

Keeping it Clean

Clean your garage door regularly with mild soap, such as car detergent, and a soft bristle brush. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and very strong liquid cleaners which could damage the paint or cause delaminating. If you have a steel garage door, you can revive its luster by applying a car wax as it will protect against acid rain and dust. It is best to avoid waxing in direct sunlight to achieve better results.

Open Sesame: The Garage Door Opener

Depending on the model you own, consult the manufacturer’s guide. If you want to add some white grease on the operator track, again you must first clean the track. By oiling all the mobile parts you will reduce the noise initiated by the motor. If it is still too noisy for your liking, then nylon rollers would help reduce the noise.

Pull on the trolley release cord and operate the door manually. Is it difficult to open and close? The electric operator only replaces manual operation, therefore it must move freely. If you have trouble operating it, contact your local l qualified and licensed garage door installer. For your safety as well as your child’s, check the automatic safety reverse system of the door opener every month.

Get Your Annual Exam

Consider your garage door as an important part of your home. With appropriate annual maintenance, it will operate beautifully.

Ask a qualified and licensed garage door installer to lubricate and adjust your garage door at least yearly. In a 10 step check-up, they will check the following:

– the sturdiness and adjustment of the hinges;
– the rollers for worn-out ball bearings, flattened rollers, and crooked rods;
– the tracks for premature wear and tear, loose bolts, and loose supports;
– the cables for wear and tear; especially near the pulleys and the lower support (corner bracket).

With these helpful tips, homeowners can ensure their garage door is safe, functional and secure well through the winter. 

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June is Garage Door Safety Month

Increasing Garage Door Safety AwarenessGarage Door Safety Month

The International Door Association (IDA) and the Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA) have designated June as Garage Door Safety Month. Both associations and their affiliated manufacturers and dealers will be working to increase awareness of the possible hazards of garage doors and automatic opener systems, and the need for periodic inspection and maintenance to keep them safe.

Just as you want your garage door system to operate properly every time you need it, you also want it to operate safely at all times.

The garage door is typically the largest moving object in your home. Properly maintained and operated, a garage door and its operating system allow you, your family and your vehicles convenient access to and from your home. They also provide security and protect against the elements. Newer, insulated garage doors even help save energy.

But moving garage doors can also cause serious injury, or even death. While there are some garage door system maintenance chores that you yourself can – and should – perform on a regular basis, there are other tasks (including garage door installation and garage door spring replacement) that are best left to the pros.

You and your family should know how to operate and maintain your garage door system safely at all times. You are the key to garage door safety.

Here are 10 things everyone in your household should know about garage door safety. It’s a good idea to review these with everyone in your household from time to time – especially children. The garage door and its operating system are not playthings.

  1. The garage door and garage door opener are not toys. They are dangerous if misused, and can cause serious injury or even death.
  1. Children should never be allowed to play with the garage door or its operating system. Children should never stand, run or play under or near any garage door, especially when the door is open or moving.
  1. Adults should not allow children access to the remote controls or push button wall controls for garage door opener systems; these should be kept out of reach of children. The push button wall control for a garage door operating system should be mounted at least five feet off the floor, out of the reach of children.
  1. Never stand or walk under a moving garage door. Never try to enter or exit the garage by racing under a moving garage door.
  1. When opening or closing the garage door, always keep the door in view until the door is fully opened or fully closed. Make certain that no adults, children or animals try to enter or exit while the door is closing.
  1. Keep fingers and hands away from door sections when the door is opening or closing to avoid injury.
  1. Keep your garage door properly maintained to keep it operating safely. Annual maintenance by a trained service technician is recommended. There are other tests and maintenance tasks that you can perform.
  1. Remember that your garage door opener uses electricity, which can shock or kill if mishandled. Service should be performed by a trained service technician.
  1. Never attempt to repair a garage door’s springs or cables. These are under extreme tension and can cause severe injury or even death. These are best repaired by a trained service technician.
  1. If someone has backed into the garage door (yes, it does happen – all of us are in a hurry at one time or another), it’s a good idea to have the door inspected and/or repaired by a trained service technician. Even if the door doesn’t appear to be severely damaged, the operating system may have become misaligned and wear prematurely, creating what could be a dangerous environment.

Although you should provide monthly safety checks and maintenance to your garage door system, an annual visit from a trained door systems technician can keep your door operating safely and smoothly for a long time

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Garage Door Check-Ups

At least once a year you should examine the garage door(s) on your property. To insure for proper operation and the longevity of your garage-door-check-up1investment, we recommend that you pay-attention to your garage during daily use. When you find time to do a relatively simple walkthrough, follow these steps:

1. Disengage your opener by means of the emergency release and manually open and close the door. During this time, the garage should operate smoothly without making loud noises. If you can open your garage door with one hand, make sure that it’s not flying up or slamming shut.

2. Check the cables and chain, torsion springs, rollers, and track. As you look at those, also go over the hinges and mounting brackets because sometimes screws come loose.

3. Perform preventative maintenance by having a good lubricant that is made for garage doors. Remember that WD-40 is not a lubricant. With your garage door closed, place a tiny amount at each point on the door where there’s a moving part. When you’re finished, manually open and close the door to work the lubricant in. Don’t forget the bearings on a torsion spring (which is located above the door when closed).

Garage door systems will last about 10-20 years. Like anything else that you use, if there’s high usage and poor maintenance, you can’t expect that your investment will last long. Appropriate care will help to increase the lifespan of your garage door and opener system. If something is wrong when you are performing a walkthrough it is important to repair it promptly. Garage door maintenance is a good way to prevent costlier future repairs. If you have a demanding schedule or cannot perform the maintenance yourself, hire professionals to do it.

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Garage Doors: To Insulate or Not to Insulate

Insulate Garage DoorsDeciding if you really need insulation in your garage door depends on where you live, so the benefits of an insulated garage door and how to select the right degree of insulation to best suit your needs will differ quite a bit.

The amount of insulation you need in your garage door depends on if your climate is typically cold, hot, or somewhere in-between. With the garage usually being the primary entrance to the home and with living space often above or beside it, it’s best to keep the temperature in the garage as comfortable as possible. This is especially true in very cold or very hot regions. You can choose garage doors with varying degrees of insulation to best suit your needs.

The effectiveness of the insulation is expressed as an R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation in the door.

Another point to consider is that an insulated door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than a non-insulated door.

Lastly, pests and insects enjoy nesting in the back of uninsulated garage doors. An insulated door doesn’t give them a place to call their own.

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Painting Your Garage Door Means Getting the Right Stuff

garage door brush-n-cansSelecting the garage door paint depends upon so many considerations.

The first consideration is the color of the house and whether the garage door is exposed to sunlight or not. Whenever you decide to paint garage doors, you must think about the color of your house and the garage door paint colors will largely depend on that.

If your house is of bright color you may use some color which will match with other exteriors of the house or you may decide to go for a contrast selection. If the garage door is exposed to sun rays during the day then you may not go for a bright color as bright colors tend to fade away very quickly in sun and the door will require very frequent repainting.

For selecting the type of paint that should be applied, in cases when you are repainting garage doors, it is important to know the type of paint which is already there on the doors. If you have oil based paint, you can apply latex paint or oil based paint but if you have latex paint then you can apply only latex paint over it. In case when you cannot confirm the type of paint which is already there, it is advisable to opt for the best quality latex paint for repainting the garage doors.

Once the type of paint and color is decided the question that arises is how to paint garage doors. You can very easily assign the task to professionals but if you love to do it yourself you will find that it is a very easy and tireless job.

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A good time for cleaning and some preventative garage door maintenance

On a busy day your garage door may open and close 20 times, fiirst united door preventitive careso routine maintenance is a must to keep it in good working order. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regular garage door cleaning and maintenance will guarantee a great look and longer life of your door.

Appearance

Clean your garage door regularly with mild soap (like dishwashing detergent) and a soft bristle brush. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and very strong liquid cleaners which could damage the paint or cause delaminating. If you have a steel garage door, you can revive its luster by applying a car wax as it will protect against acid rain and dust. It is best to avoid waxing in direct sunlight to achieve better results. If there’s exposed wood, be sure to paint it.

Exterior Weather-Stripping

Clean the weather stripping around the frame and bottom edge with a good all-purpose cleaner. Lubricate it every 2 or 3 months with a Silicone-based lubricant to keep the stripping pliable. Never use a petroleum-based lubricant on weather-stripping as it will dry up and crack. It is important to let your weather-strip hang 1/2″ below the door base when you readjust your perimeter weather-stripping. If the weather-stripping is too tight, the door will not function properly. So if your weather-stripping has lost its flexibility, it is best to replace it.

Final Advice
Consider your garage door as an important part of your home. With appropriate annual maintenance, it will door will provide carefree convenience for many years to come. Ask a qualified garage door installer, to lubricate and adjust your garage door at least yearly. A check-up will insure he will lubricate all the above mentioned parts and perform any required repairs.

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Home buyers want accessible features they can age with

firstunitedgaragedoorAccording to U.S. Census data, the number of Americans 65 and older is expected to rise 35 percent from 2010 to 2020. This plays a big part in the upswing of universal design and aging-in-place home features the past few years, accompanying the increase of multigenerational homes. A recent article from The Washington Post cites AARP findings on the subject:

According to AARP, the majority of older Americans want to stay in their homes permanently and live independently. This demographic change translates into demand for residential designs that anticipate changes in health, vision or mobility, and ensures that homes stay safe, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

The National Association of Home Builders’ What Home Buyers Really Want report released in 2013 surveyed new and prospective home buyers nationwide to identify which features they want (and don’t want) when looking to purchase a home, one of the most desirable purchases home buyers are making with aging in mind is selecting a garage door 9 ft. or higher to accommodate a raised roof van with wheelchair lift. Besides the accommodation, it’s a good investment as well adding more value to the house itself.

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